Washington, D.C., August 17, 2012Alston & Bird LLP today announced the addition of Trading and Markets partner Laura Pruitt to the firm’s Financial Services & Products Group in its Washington, D.C. office.  Pruitt’s evolving, multifaceted and cutting-edge practice centers on counseling broker-dealers, electronic trading systems, transfer agents, investment advisers, self-regulatory organizations and other market participants regarding compliance with federal securities laws and rules of self-regulatory organizations.  In particular, she has extensive experience representing the operators of alternative trading systems and in related trading and equity market structure issues. 

Pruitt is ranked nationally by Chambers USA in the category of Financial Services Regulation: Broker-dealer (Compliance) and, after several years at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), she returned to private practice, where she most recently served as practice group leader of the Securities and Futures Market Regulation Group in the D.C. office of Schiff Hardin LLP.

Prior to moving to the private sector, Pruitt joined the SEC as senior counsel in the Office of the General Counsel.  From there, she moved on to serve as special counsel in the Division of Market Regulation (now the Division of Trading and Markets).  As special counsel, she focused on issues surrounding the distinctions between "finders" and broker-dealers, the use of Internet portals, the SEC's penny stock rules, soft dollars and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives dealers.  She also worked on projects concerning SRO arbitration rules and procedures, transfer agent regulation and dividend reinvestment plan administration.

“Alston & Bird’s already robust financial services practice becomes that much stronger with the addition of an attorney of Laura’s caliber,” said Managing Partner Richard Hays.  “Her expertise in the securities world will greatly benefit our existing and future clients.”

“Laura’s arrival expands our ability to provide broker-dealer and alternate trading platform services to our clients,” added David E. Brown, Jr., the co-chair of the firm’s corporate practices.  “She is an important voice in one of the fastest growing facets of the financial services industry.”

About Laura Pruitt

Laura S. Pruitt is a Washington, D.C. partner in the firm’s Financial Services & Products Group who counsels broker-dealers, investment advisers, self-regulatory organizations and other market participants on securities law and market regulation issues, with particular emphasis on broker-dealer registration and compliance issues, trading rules, alternative trading systems, derivatives, investment adviser regulation, transfer agent rules and anti-money laundering rules

She also represents a variety of clients before the SEC and self-regulatory organizations in connection with regulatory investigations and enforcement actions and has conducted independent compliance reviews in connection with the settlement of several enforcement actions. 

Laura earned her J.D. from the Columbia School of Law, where she served as a moot court student judge, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology, magna cum laude, from Harvard University.

About Alston & Bird

With over 800 attorneys, Alston & Bird is a leading national AmLaw 50 firm.  The firm’s core practice areas are intellectual property, complex litigation, corporate and tax, with national industry focuses in health care, financial services and public policy.  The firm has built a reputation as one of the country’s best employers, appearing on FORTUNE magazine’s ranking of the “100 Best Companies to Work For” 13 consecutive years, an unprecedented accomplishment among law firms in the United States.  The firm has offices in Atlanta, Brussels, Charlotte, Dallas, Los Angeles, New York, Research Triangle, Silicon Valley, Ventura County and Washington, D.C. For more information on Alston & Bird, please visit www.alston.com